International and transnational politics

The Political Science Department has great strength in the area of Transnational and International Relations, Global Political Economy, Global Studies and Regional Integration (Europe and Asia in particular) and has developed courses and research that lie at the intersection of international, transnational and national politics.

Expertise in the Department focuses on international relations in its various guises: political economy, law, politics, security, state-market relations, international organizations and regional integration.

Internationally well-known academics form the core of our specialists in this field:

  • A. Claire Cutler works in the intersection of International Law and International Relations and focuses on the role of law in the global political economy, critical globalization studies, and private, non-state authority in international relations.
  • Oliver Schmidtke, Jean Monnet Chair in European History and Politics, specializes in international migration, and transnational citizenship issues.
  • Amy Verdun, Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration Studies focuses on various dimensions of European integration and comparative political economy.
  • RBJ (Rob) Walker writes about the political theory of global politics and security.
  • Scott Watson focuses on international security and has a particular interest in securitization, the politics of humanitarianism and the interplay between identity and conflict.
  • Michael Webb specialises in global political economy, global economic governance, international taxation, the United Nations, and Canadian foreign policy.
  • Guoguang Wu, CAPI China chair, works on East Asian politics and regional international relations.
  • Feng Xu researches issues in gender, identity, migration, (post)colonialism and discourses of modernity, with particular focus on China and East Asia.

In addition, Colin Bennett, a scholar of comparative public policy, has examined the global politics of information and communications technologies and the implications for civil liberties and state sovereignty; and Warren Magnusson works on issues related to the global city and transnational urban politics. Besides these scholars most other faculty members in the Department have research projects that in one way or another touch on global issues.

This area also intersects with many of the research programs currently pursued under the umbrella of the Centre for Global Studies, whose Director, Dr Oliver Schmidtke is a Professor within the Department. The mission of CFGS is to "advance understanding and action on major global issues by civil society, the private sector, governments, and international institutions."

Through its diverse research and international development activities, the Centre promotes collaborative policy solutions to the human and environmental challenges posed by globalization. Political Science faculty members also participate in the Program on Dispute resolution.

The Department also hosts the UVic European Studies Program, which is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on European Integration in the widest sense of the word.The program draws on the Social Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts, and collaborates with the three professional schools (Business, Law and Public Administration). It has taken off in recent years as an independent program but is still housed in the Political Science Department and contributes to the Department's Undergraduate and MA Programs.

Students concentrating in this area will be required to take the candidacy examinations in either International Relations (for which the required field seminar will be POLI 640), or Comparative Politics (required seminar POLI 608). Most students are likely to take both. Some will choose to combine with Political Theory or CSPT.